Songs to worship God Jesus
Songs for the glory of God
In praise and worship we exalt God and ask him to unlock his wealth for us. Three worship leaders discuss how worship deepens and how old and newer songs can be woven together.
What actually is worship? Why is? We also spoke to the reformed theologian Luca Baschera, who is well versed in history, for the wort + warch dossier.The interview here.
Wort + warch: What are you doing in the worship work?
Rahel Tiefenbach: We strive for more of the glory of God to be felt in our worship so that everyone is touched by it. We are trying to find out how the Holy Spirit can increasingly take the lead in praise. It is not so much about singing as we are about the deep encounter with God. We want to experience signs and wonders in praise. We saw a little of it; much more, we believe, is still hidden in the treasure “Worship”.
Markus Dolder: A church choir and three bands are active in my parish in Wangental. I look for successors for the musicians and introduce them. Everyone comes together for the annual evening of worship next Friday. In addition, I hold a ThomasFyr four times a year, in which we build bridges between piety and musical styles.
Michael Zahnd: The EGW Langenthal is experiencing a change. We practice coming together expectantly and participating in the worship service - instead of experiencing and consuming worship.
RT: In praise we are open to impressions and prophetic words from participants. So it can be that someone comes up and gives the manager their impression. When it fits, she tells everyone and we pray it out. There is a tremendous power in sharing it with one another.
How do you feel about the older songs and the newer worship songs?
MD: For me there are simply good and not so good songs. The really good new songs will become traditional songs. It seems to me that the wholeness of text and melody that appeals to us is decisive. Ultimately, it is a secret why a song is sung and remains so much.
MZ: It is God's grace when a song touches hearts. Older songs often have depth and richness that are rooted in the Bible, including solid theology.
RT: They have more content, a lot of text in several stanzas. Today's songs sometimes go less deep in terms of content; however, their catchy melodies invite repeated singing. Some songs have an inexplicable anointing: The congregation sings along with one accord, which I experience very touching.
Does the intensity of adoration also result from the harmonious succession of several songs?
MD: With three songs it is hardly possible to go deeply adoringly. But you can string five or six songs together without anything happening. I perceive a development from text songs to meditative songs (Taizé). The modern worship songs have fewer words and repeat more.
RT: For about thirty minutes of praise, I put four to five songs together. But sometimes two songs that go particularly deep are enough for us. Or someone in the band gets new words and we record them.
Thanks - Praise - Worship: How Should They Be Differentiated?
MZ: The three describe a way. From giving thanks for an experience to elevating God's greatness to the moments when he comes to me and tells me who I am: this is a way in which an encounter with God occurs.
MD: Thanks and praise are the more active part; Worship takes place in amazement, remains a gift, a secret. We can't do it.
RT: My goal in worship each time is to go to the throne room of God with the band and the whole congregation for deep encounters. I think back to two services for which I was well prepared. One time the anointing of the Holy Spirit came and the other time it didn't. We can not influence it.
MZ: When I praise God and thank him, it automatically pulls me away from me, towards him. My perspective changes. We want to lead people to this change.
In the new song lyrics, does “my experience of adoration” often dominate the statements of the greatness and glory of God?
MZ: We have too few songs of praise that are entirely focused on God and glorify him. It costs me something to sing about its qualities. It makes sense to assign the songs. When I put songs together, I distinguish between thanksgiving, praise, and worship.
The richness of the titles that Jesus has in the Bible has little effect. As in the Old Testament, God is proclaimed as the King, the Lord. Should praise be more focused on Jesus?
MD: It certainly needs new, more pointed songs. There are far fewer songs in our language than in English.
RT: A group with us meets once a month to work on new songs. We want to look away from ourselves and our experiences, proclaim the glory of God and the victory of Jesus on the cross. If we take the treasures of the Bible and try to set them to music in context - not word for word - a mega-treasure emerges. And there can still be many deep songs.
MD: The party culture also influences worship. We also celebrate - but differently. Worship leaders are tempted to set the mood. You can heat people up without God.
MZ: "Es isch Jesus where I fire" is a great song for me. Church should be the biggest party in the world because we have the very best reason to celebrate. As long as Jesus is at the center of our singing and making music, we won't go wrong.
On the other hand, life is not just a party. Can praise become deeper and closer to life when it absorbs painful things?
MD: The Bible is full of breadth, with stories of suffering and failure. If we included this, along with stories of miracles and healing, it would bring us closer to life. Probably some guests who come from outside find our praise aloof.
RT: Not partying or mood, but I want to create atmosphere. That everyone as he is may come before God. We have experiences, have feelings and are allowed to come to God with them. Res Steiner, our pastor, was sick. We often came before God and asked him for help - and worshiped him, extolled his power. Res died. God has led us into the depths. Praising and worshiping Him, no matter what the circumstances, keep us going.
MZ: If we manage to bring songs that precisely express the pain - and yet don't stick with it, but strengthen faith.
MD: The songs have a certain heaviness, of course. It takes complaint and praise. Psalms draw the bow.
MZ: Is worship the right place for it?
In the Reformed divine service, adoration and preaching are followed by intercession (so-called Zurich liturgy, hymn book 150). Should it - after the praise - be weighted more heavily?
RT: How do we get to the point where we no longer separate, but everything is possible, where we feel in praise that we should pray for a country or proclaim God's greatness over a need? We would no longer subdivide, but create one. Celebrate once a month like “Open Heaven”. We celebrate God with music and then we are open to words. People say something and we stand together and pray for it. So I hope that we can increasingly connect the pieces with the Holy Spirit at the center.
MD: At this point, the ThomasFyr convinces me; it is based on the Lutheran liturgy. There is a lot of singing: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, confession, request for the Holy Spirit, intercession. In between the sermon.
The hymns express what our spiritual mothers and fathers believed. How can the treasure be preserved?
RT: For a while each band had a hymn to play. It was not infrequently attached. Now a church service on the second Sunday of the month is geared towards the elderly, which we experience as very enriching.
With “What a friend is our Jesus” the hearts of those who came to church 40 years ago open up.
RT: We played the song rocky - it didn't work.
MD: There are successful mixes. From Redding comes a pop version of "I feel good in the Lord". In the ThomasFyr there are three (freshly arranged, played by the band) hymns for five newer ones. Martin Jufer has successfully jazzed up hymns - we experience it at the EGW annual festival.
If new songs are constantly being introduced, especially English ones, where are we going? Does a new series of sermons need extra new songs?
MZ: It must be about continuity and freshness: that the community builds up and cares for a treasure together. So that people don't have to keep an eye on the screen. But it's great when new songs are written for the current topic.
MD: As I said: good songs will prevail. But I agree: we need more songs in our language, in the language of the heart.
RT: We take care not to play English songs. They are translated on the screen.
Some become passive and only listen when people are singing in English.
MD: It is important that everyone does what they and they are gifted for. Not every charisma is for the stage.
MZ: The careful introduction by the leader, so that everyone can find their way into the song, and the desire of the participants to sing along belong together.
Markus Dolder, 59, social deacon in Oberwangen (parish of Köniz), was the first music representative of the EGW. He has written songs and produced CDs and gives concerts.
Rahel Tiefenbach, 33, was invited to a teen band and so came to the EGW. In 2008 she attended Hillsong Worship School in Sidney. The trained toddler educator is expecting her second child. She leads worship at EGW Waltrigen.
Michael Zahnd, 32, grew up in the EGW, teacher at the Langenthal vocational school. In 2015 he attended Equippers College in New Zealand. He leads worship at the EGW Langenthal and coordinates seminars for the Worship Academy.
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